Essex students claim teacher advised “act less gay” to avoid bullying

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A schoolchild bullied over their sexuality claims a teacher advised them to act “less gay”.

The statement was included in a report for Essex County Council following a specialist conference for teachers and pupils at the Young Essex Assembly to discuss their day to day experiences of bullying in schools.

The comment, made by a pupil during the discussions, was published in the report which followed and which will shape new anti-bullying information packs. The school is not named.

The report says: “Teachers received very little training at college around bullying and most would welcome additional support and guidance.”

According to Stonewall figures, 65 per cent of young lesbian, gay and bisexual people experience homophobic bullying in Britain’s schools.

Half of those who have experienced homophobic bullying have skipped school as a result.

Essex County Council said of the comments: “The Young Essex Assembly held a conference to allow children to talk in an open and constructive environment about bullying within schools.

“All the information and anecdotal evidence gathered at the event will shape the work of the Young Essex Assembly; as a result they are developing an anti-bullying information pack which will be given to trainee teachers to help them understand and cope with the serious issue of bullying.”